The last two heroes added to Overwatch, sniper healer Ana and offensive hacker Sombra, made it out of the game's Public Test Realm not long after they were announced, but the same may not be said for the next character, the Tank-class robot Orisa. According to game director Jeff Kaplan, Orisa will likely stay in the PTR until later in the month.
Responding to fans on the official Overwatch forums, Kaplan explained that Orisa still has issues that need ironing out before she is introduced to the live game. Kaplan wasn't clear as to whether these issues are due to bugs with her abilities or balance tweaks, but he is confident that taking the time to fix these issues before launching Orisa in the live game is the best move.
"Just to clarify, we're leaving Orisa on the PTR for a little while. We're getting great feedback and fixing a lot of issues. I know this feels a little longer than other PTR periods, but we think it will be for the better. We know how anxious you all are to have Orisa join your ranks... and she will soon... but most likely she will go live later in the month rather than this early."
Kaplan doesn't explicitly say whether the issues Blizzard is fixing are technical problems or balance tweaks, but it's likely a little bit of both. We already know that Blizzard plans on making some balance changes to Orisa, as PTR players have found her to be overpowered compared to the rest of the heroes on the roster. To address this, Blizzard is reducing Orisa's clip size and making it take longer for her to activate her Ultimate ability.
If Blizzard implements these balance changes to Orisa in the PTR and feels as though she's where she needs to be, perhaps she will launch a bit sooner than the end of the month. However, Blizzard seems to have found Tank heroes more difficult to balance than the other classes, constantly making changes to Roadhog and D.Va, so it may want to take the time to make sure Orisa is as balanced as possible before adding her for all Overwatch players to play.
Blizzard may be especially conscious about making sure characters are balanced right now, as fans have been in an uproar over the recent changes made to Bastion. In an attempt to make Bastion more viable, Blizzard gave him a buff that many fans feel went too far, resulting in the company prepping a nerf for him not even a week later. After the backlash from Bastion's buff, Blizzard may be taking this extra time with Orisa to avoid upsetting fans by adding another overpowered character to the game.
The wait for Orisa may be a tough one, but at least fans have plenty to do in the game right now. The last big update for Overwatch added a custom game browser and other bells and whistles to the experience to give dedicated players more to do than just the standard game modes they've been playing for months. Content like the game browser and the new hero Orisa could very well help Overwatch stay one of the most popular games on the market, assuming Blizzard is able to implement the proper fixes before adding this content to the game.
Overwatch is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.